RICHMOND, Va., March 20, 2011 - Sophomore right-hander D.J. Brown (Locust Grove, Va./Orange County) tossed his first career complete game, allowing one unearned run to lead James Madison to a 4-1 win at VCU in a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series finale on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.
JMU improved to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in the CAA. The Dukes won their 11th consecutive CAA series dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season. VCU dropped to 7-12 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Brown, whose previous career-best was 6 1/3 innings, went the full nine innings for his first career complete game. He improved to 4-0 while allowing one unearned run on seven hits and one walk while recording a career-high nine strikeouts. Brown retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced in the game, downing the Rams in order in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth innings. It was JMU's first complete game since Turner Phelps at Old Dominion on April 4, 2010.
VCU's David Benson fell to 1-1 on the season despite a quality start, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out seven.
Junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) led JMU with a double, a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Freshman third baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) also had two hits with a double.
Center fielder Bill Cullen and first baseman Taylor Perkins each had a pair of hits for VCU, which committed four errors in the game.
JMU grabbed the lead in the third inning as sophomore outfielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) singled and reached second on a sacrifice bunt. Lowery doubled to left center for the 1-0 lead. He moved to third on an infield single by senior shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) and scored on the fifth sacrifice fly of the season by sophomore Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East).
VCU answered with one run of its own in the third. Cullen singled, moved to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a groundout, and scored the unearned run on a wild pitch.
The game remained 2-1 until the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, sophomore outfielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) reached on an error by the first baseman, allowing two unearned runs to score to make it 4-1.
VCU went down in order in the ninth as Brown finished the complete game.
JMU returns to non-conference play with a two-game home set on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Cornell.
NOTES: Herbek was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season and 45th in his career to move into a tie for third all-time in the CAA... he is five short of tying the CAA's all-time record.